Fan Post edited and promoted by MMAmania.com.
Yushin Okami (26-5) was "guaranteed a title shot" after his unanimous decision win over fellow middleweight contender Nate Marquardt at UFC 122 back in November of 2010 -- or at least that's what the UFC told us when they yanked Vitor Belfort from the Germany card and promoted him to a UFC 126 title fight.
"The Phenom" challenged Anderson Silva at UFC 126 but "The Spider" successfully defended his 185-pound title and solidified his place as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. With Okami re-earning his number one contender spot and Silva defending his title yet again, this was supposed to set-up a rematch between the two after a 2006 bout that ended in disqualification.
The Brazilian landed an illegal upkick at "Rumble on the Rock" that rendered his Japanese foe unconscious, which gave Okami the win and gave Silva the last loss on his record.
Okami has had nothing but bad luck trying get to the middleweight title. He fought Rich Franklin at UFC 77 in a title-eliminator bout but lost by unanimous decision. He eventually worked his way up to number one contender status to rematch the champion at UFC 90, but was injured prior to the bout and was forced to withdraw.
"Silva vs. Okami 2" at this time would be all clear to book, but there is a new variable that Okami and others may have ignored: The potential superfight between Anderson Silva and current UFC Welterweight Champion (and number two pound-for-pound fighter) Georges St. Pierre.
Die-hard MMA fans have been calling for this bout for quite some time seeing as both champions have been rolling over some of the best strikers and grapplers in each of their respective divisions.
With Silva recently dispatching Vitor Belfort, he's pretty much blown through all challengers in his weight class. St. Pierre has rolled over all but one in his weight class but will have the chance to throw another body on the pile when he fights Strikeforce import Jake Shields at UFC 129 in April.
Should St. Pierre get past the elite grappler in his upcoming title defense, UFC President Dana White is expected to offer both Silva and St. Pierre the chance to determine which of the two men is truly the pound-for-pound king in combat sports.
And in the process -- neglecting Okami's position in the middleweight division.
With the overwhelming possibility of SIlva vs. St. Pierre happening (and the UFC already considering a possible venue for such an event), Okami seems to have been forgotten.
A "Spider" vs. "Rush" superfight would likely be held at 185-pounds, with St. Pierre vacating his welterweight title and officially moving up a class to challenge for Silva's belt.
However, should the Canadian fail against Shields and lose his title, that would all but eliminate what momentum there is for the fantasy fight. This would also mean that nothing stands in the way of Okami finally fighting Silva in a rematch by the end of 2011.
The careers of both Silva and Okami are on hold until the result of St. Pierre vs. Shields on April 30.
Another question that arises is what will happen to Okami if the superfight comes to fruition? With Okami as the number one contender and St. Pierre the assumed opponent with a win in Toronto, would an Interim title be established, or would Okami simply fight another high level middleweight to (once again) earn his spot in line?
Unfortunately those questions won't be answered until the conclusion of UFC 129, but in the meantime, what's your take on Okami's status as middleweight contender?